mean to say

mean to say

To intend to say; to really mean. Sorry, what I meant to say was that I'll be 30 minutes late, not early. Do you mean to say that we made even less money this quarter?
See also: mean, say

mean to say

really admit or intend to say.
1977 Jennifer Johnston Shadows on our Skin I mean to say, Joe Logan , where are you if you can't resist putting a small white tube of poison into your mouth every half an hour?
See also: mean, say

mean to ˈsay

used to emphasize what you are saying or to ask somebody if they really mean what they say: I mean to say, you should have known how he would react!Do you mean to say you’ve lost it?
See also: mean, say
References in classic literature ?
'I mean to say that I shouldn't,' replied Tom, angrily.
"I mean to say." replied Cornelius, throwing himself back in the carriage, "that the black tulip will not be found, except by one whom I know."
Do you mean to say you believe he wouldn't have come walking up our lane just when he did if she had never thought of it?"
'Well, what I mean to say is, you've got five million dollars and I've got two thousand a year, don't you know, and so--'
"You don't mean to say, father, that you are talking seriously of these men--your friends--whom we see every day--and our only company?"
I only mean to say that for a young horse full of strength and spirits, who has been used to some large field or plain where he can fling up his head and toss up his tail and gallop away at full speed, then round and back again with a snort to his companions -- I say it is hard never to have a bit more liberty to do as you like.
"No, senor," replied Sancho, "for as soon as I had repeated it, seeing there was no further use for it, I set about forgetting it; and if I recollect any of it, it is that about 'Scrubbing,'I mean to say
I mean to say that strength, as strength, whether of man or woman, is the same.
"You mean to say, then, my dear Monsieur la Ramee "
"D'you mean to say you have to work all that time and spend a small fortune just to earn three pounds a week at the end of it?
Do you mean to say my will is stronger than yours?'
'I mean to say,' Hugh interposed, 'that they hung her up at Tyburn.
You cannot mean to say that because Polydamas, the pancratiast, is stronger than we are, and finds the eating of beef conducive to his bodily strength, that to eat beef is therefore equally for our good who are weaker than he is, and right and just for us?
"I do not mean to say you will lose, but, nevertheless, mind you hold to the terms of the agreement."
"I wouldn't mind betting, prince," he cried, "that you did not in the least mean to say that, and very likely you meant to address someone else altogether.